As experts in mixology, connoisseurs in the art of cocktail making and perfectionists when it comes to a perfect punch, we have put together our top tips when it comes to making a spring punch, and of course, we have a recipe to top it off!
Grab those ladles and cups and get ready to pour a party into a bowl, because things are about to get punchy!
A little bit of background to punch
The term ‘punch’ is thought to come from the Hindi word for ‘five’. This is because the drink was originally made from 5 different ingredients – something sour (lime or lemon), sugar, spirit (rum or brandy) and water and spice (nutmeg).
The drink was first brought to England from India by sailors from the British East India Company in the early 17th century – so sailors started it all! The first recorded punch dates back to 1638.
Experts in the history of punch (yes, this is really a thing), think that punch began because the sailors ran out of beer and wine on the ships. To prevent scurvy from occuring, ships were already equipped with citrus fruits and the other ingredients could also be found on the ships. And voila – the first punch was created!
These tasty drinks quickly caught on and now we enjoy them for parties and all sorts of occasions.
What makes a great punch?
Punch is considered to be the earliest cocktail – the drink that all other drinks come from. A tasty and great punch has a fine balance between citrus, spirit, spice, sweetness and dilution.
1. Keep it light and fresh
Although punches may have began with sailors who are renowned for having a heavy hand – yohoho and a bottle of rum – you don’t always have to add the whole bottle. Punches are meant to be light and refreshing, so skip the heavy pour and round it off with some sparkling wine (Prosecco is a great option) or sparkling water.
2. An old secret of ‘sweet oil’
The term ‘oleo saccharum’ is Latin for sweet oil and it refers to a combination of lemon peels and sugar. Combine these two ingredients and leave them overnight. You can also muddle them together to make a paste. This ‘sweet oil’ is the perfect sweet and sour finish to punches.
3. All things gin – the spirit of spring!
Gin is a wonderful ingredient for punches and deserves a place with fresh botanicals and herbs. Gin is great with something from your garden such as rosemary or mint. It’s fresh, light and has a unique taste.
4. Go big or go home when it comes to ice
The best way to keep punch cool in the sun of spring is with ice. It’s pretty much a no brainer. The issue that comes with using a whole heap of small ice blocks is that they can quickly melt and dilute your punch. But, if you use one huge ice block, this will melt slower and also adds to the fabulous presentation of the punch.
Here’s a trick – two nights before your party, get a big metal bowl and fill it with water (make sure it is slightly smaller than your punch bowl). Put it in the freezer until it is a solid block of ice. When you are ready to serve your punch, dip the bottom of the bowl in warm water – this will help it melt a little bit and loosen the ice, then pop it in your punch bowl.
5. Use fresh ingredients
It’s spring time and that means that berries, flowers and all sorts of colourful fresh wonders are in season. Slices of fresh strawberries, oranges or lemons, even peaches and whole fresh mint leaves all add to the flavour and look of your punch.
The recipe to our ultimate spring punch with a punch
As promised, here is our recipe to a spring punch that will have your guests laughing and partying in excitement of course and having a great time in the sunshine of spring.
- 1.5bottles Tanqueray® London Dry Gin
- 350ml Maraschino Liqueur
- 500ml Apricot Nectar
- 500ml Orange Juice
- 1 liter Pineapple Juice
- 200ml Lime Juice
- 100ml Sugar Syrup
- 1750ml Prosecco
- 3 oranges
- 2 pineapples
- 4 apricots
- 2 limes
- 2 lemons
Pro tip – Make your ‘sweet oil’ with the lime, lemon and sugar syrup (peels included) and leave this overnight. Remove the peels and add to the mixture the next day.
- Using a sharp knife, cut all the whole fruits into small pieces and place them into your bowl
- Pour in the gin
- Add the remaining ingredients of maraschino liqueur, apricot nectar, orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and sweet oil into the bowl
- You can adjust the sweet and sour to your tastes
- Chill in the fridge in your punch bowl for 2-3 hours before serving
- Just before serving, top with sparkling Prosecco
- Serve into tasteful cups with a ladle
Want expert help instead?
Of course, if you would rather leave the ingredient shopping, punch mixing and serving to the experts, then contact our Thirsty Barmen to bring a mobile bar service to your next event, big or small, we have got you covered.